Driverless Cars Set to Save World Economies Billions – World Study

Traffic accidents cost world economies billions each year, but with the development of autonomous driving technologies these costs could be reduced dramatically.

Autonomous driving technologies are revolutionising the automotive industry with their promise to improve vehicle safety and reduce traffic accidents, but what is the monetary impact of this on GDP? Experts at Global Positioning Specialists (GPS) have revealed how much GDP could be saved through driverless cars in 73 countries.

GPS combined the percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents with the total GDP of each country alongside the percentage that driverless tech could reduce traffic accidents to calculate both the total GDP lost to traffic accidents each year and the amount of GDP that driverless technology could save.

Top 20 Countries Where Driverless Tech Could Save Billions:

GDP lost to traffic accidents

Source :www.gps.com.au

The US topped the list of 73 countries, where over $340bn is lost to traffic accidents each year, the largest amount of GDP lost in the world. If all vehicles in the US were driverless, the amount of GDP lost could be substantially reduced. In particular, GDP lost to traffic accidents could be cut by over $306bn a year, making the roads considerably safer.

While the US lose the most GDP to traffic accidents, South Africa has the highest percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents in the world (7.8%), but because of a much lower GDP, South Africa ranked 13th, where driverless tech could have reduced lost GDP by over $21bn.

The UK and Australia, ranking 8th and 9th respectively, both lose over $28bn GDP to traffic accidents each year. Driverless cars could save the UK and Australia over $25bn each year.

Lucile Michaut, head of GPS comments: “This research has two facets to it, on the one hand there is the amount of money which we spend on accidents each year, which in itself is interesting. Then you realise how many of these accidents could be avoided with new driverless technology. Governments will never spend on investing in things like this unless there is concrete evidence, but here we have proved there are strong economic reasons to invest in driverless technology, as well as the obvious improvement to public safety.”

World Data:

Sources: WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2015, World DataBank Gross Domestic Product 2015, and McKinsey & Company How Autonomous Cars Could Redefine The Automotive World 2016
Global Positioning Specialists

Driverless integration, projects around the world

The first driverless cars that will be tested on the streets of London will resemble the electric passenger shuttles currently being used at Heathrow Airport

News coming out of the UK reveal that the first driverless cars that will be tested on the streets of London will resemble the electric passenger shuttles currently being used at Heathrow Airport. The vehicles will be the result of three British organizations coming together: Westfield Sportscar, Heathrow Enterprise and Oxbotica.

Driverless electric shuttle buses will begin testing in The Netherlands in the coming days. These low-speed buses (without a steering wheel) will be used in mixed traffic.

For all those jurisdictions soliciting Google for a piece of the driverless testing pie, some news over the last few days. It appears as though, in addition to testing in Silicon Valley and Austin, TX, Google has selected four more sites for testing in the US. It seems likely that Ann Arbor, MI will be one of these four sites. In addition, it looks like Google is looking at testing its vehicles in the Nordic climate conditions of Austria. Autocluster AC Styria has apparently signed a letter of intent with Google.

Also testing in snowy winter conditions is Ford. The company is reportedly testing its driverless technology in Michigan.

Nevada has granted Kia and Hyundai permission to gest driverless vehicles on the state’s roads.

In an industry first, Tesla Motors announced that it has equipped many of its cars with the ability to park themselves — as the driver stands outside. To move down the driverless path, Tesla will reportedly hire 4,500 employees for its autonomous driving work. Elon Musk is confident that Tesla will have fully autonomous vehicles by 2017.

Driverless delivery vehicles will be trialled in London as soon as 2017.

Government planning required

Planning will be required to minimize the potential negative impacts associated with fully autonomous vehicles, including increased vehicle km travelled.

The Tennessee General Assembly has introduced a bill creating a per mile tax structure for autonomous vehicles. That’s already further ahead than most jurisdictions.

And in the Canadian landscape, the Mayor of Saskatoon, Don Atchison, stresses the need for his city to plan for autonomous vehicles. Nice thinking Mr. Atchison!

Planning will be required to minimize the potential negative impacts associated with fully autonomous vehicles, including increased vehicle km travelled.

Governments positioning to reap the economic benefits

The big news of the last few weeks came from US Transportation Secretary Foxx…

After the Government of Ontario introduced regulations allowing for the testing of driverless vehicles on the province’s roads and highways, cities like Windsor and Stratford are rightly demonstrating an interest in becoming host sites. These municipalities understand the economic benefits that accompany such testing.

In addition to M-City, the State of Michigan is developing a 330-Acre autonomous vehicle test site.

And the big news of the last few weeks came from US Transportation Secretary Foxx who announced that the Obama administration is proposing to spend nearly $4 billion in a decade to accelerate the acceptance of driverless cars on U.S. roads.  Some highlights:

  • 10-year, $4 billion push to spark the development of self-driving cars
  • unified national regulations on self-driving cars
  • work with state governments and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators within six months to develop cohesive state regulations for autonomous vehicles.

The announcement by Transportation Secretary Foxx was well received by developers of driverless technology, particularly after the draft deployment regulations released on December 16th, 2015 by the California DMV. The Department is currently holding consultations before it finalizes these regulations.

Positioning for future mobility

The city of Los Angeles and Xerox announced a new pilot project that roles public and private transportation options into one custom mobile app for the city, Go LA…

The city of Los Angeles and Xerox announced a new pilot project that roles public and private transportation options into one custom mobile app for the city, Go LA. Users of the free app will be able first to select what kind of transportation options they’re interested in (Motorcycles? The ridesharing company du jour? Whatever’s around?), then sort the results by what’s fastest, cheapest or greenest. Xerox, which is footing the bill for the initial pilot, also hopes to roll out payment and scheduling capabilities.

GM announced the creation of product team for autonomous vehicles and technology.

A new report reveals that a driverless taxi program is already underway in Seoul, South Korea, and has been driving students in a campus for six months with absolutely no accidents.

Ford announced that it is tripling its fleet of autonomous vehicles in 2016, upping its total to 30 test vehicles on the road. It is also announcing a novel integration with Amazon: Ford’s in-car software will soon connect with connected-home devices, especially its Amazon Echo.

More collaborations have been announced. Here are some:

  • Volvo Cars and Ericsson are developing intelligent media streaming for self-driving cars.
  • Samsung is reportedly teaming up with BMW to develop the brains of the self-driving vehicle. In December 2015, Samsung announced that it set up a new team to target the car market. The company has been eyeing the fast-growing market for automotive components, software and services, estimated to be worth about $500 billion.
  • The Chinese company Baidu is reportedly ramping up efforts to develop its autonomous vehicle unit in a bid to compete with other tech giants. As part of its efforts, it is partnering with BYD, the Chinese vehicle manufacturer.
  • Ford announced a collaboration with QNX, hoping to create an industry standard for integrating smartphone apps into cars. The two companies will work together to help drivers stay connected while keeping their eyes on the road. Hmmm …doesn’t sound to safe to us. Despite the fact that Blackberry (through QNX) has been in the autonomous vehicle space for a number of years, it appears that this technology will become a greater focus of the company’s efforts.
  • And, by the way, the much-rumoured driverless partnership between Google and Ford never came to fruition.

In India, Tata plans to launch the country’s first indigenous driverless vehicle.

And with news that was to be expected, Google will reportedly be making its self-driving car unit an Alphabet Company in 2016.

The future of mobility must be sustainable

When Stuttgart asks commuters to leave their cars at home, you know something’s changing…

Given new vehicular technologies’ potential to have important environmental impacts, the US Environmental Protection Agency is pondering post-2025 regulations. The Agency is considering incorporating additional factors such as electricity sources, autonomous technologies, connectivity, car-sharing and mobility services and other emerging transportation trends into its thinking.

When Stuttgart asks commuters to leave their cars at home, you know something’s changing. In an effort to decrease pollution levels, Germany’s “car city” (headquarters of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche), residents are being encouraged to use public transport and take part in car-sharing initiatives. The current ban is voluntary, but city officials have said that there may be a fine for non-compliance in the future if air pollution is not reduced.

Ridesharing

Meanwhile, Lyft is adopting Waze as its default navigation app in an attempt to give the ride-sharing company’s drivers and passengers an extra advantage…

GM announced a $500 million investment in Lyft, an Uber competitor, and purchased the “remains” of Sidecar, the ride-hailing pioneer that folded at the end of 2015. GM will be bringing on board around 20 employees from the Sidecar team, including co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Jahan Khanna. The intent is to have driverless Lyfts in the future. With all of GM’s focus on new mobility models, maybe the acronym will stand for General Mobility 😉

Meanwhile, Lyft is adopting Waze as its default navigation app in an attempt to give the ride-sharing company’s drivers and passengers an extra advantage. In addition, Lyft announced a partnership that will enable seniors without smartphones to use their service.

A patent application published in January reveals that Facebook is looking to get into the ridesharing business. Recently, Facebook announced a partnership with Uber that would allow users to book a ride from Facebook’s Messenger app.

patent

Edmonton became the first Canadian city to legalize ridesharing services.  In BC, the government is apparently softening its criticism of ride-sharing business Uber, saying it’s only a matter of time before the service launches in the province. Meanwhile, in Québec, a coalition of taxi drivers intends to file an application for a class-action lawsuit against Uber.

Uber’s strategy in Toronto has been different. In this city, UberTaxi obtained a brokerage license while UberX continues to operate “illegally”. Also in Toronto, UberPool has arrived.

According to reports released over the last couple of months, thanks to Uber, taxi license values continue to decline. One report indicates that Toronto cabbies’ license values have dropped from some $360,000 in 2012 to below $100,000.

Uber continues to attract the interest of investors. In the last few weeks, Uber announced that it received almost $2 billion from Chinese investors to expand its business. The company’s Chinese operations are valued at $7 Billion and worldwide, Uber is valued at $70 Billion. Hmmm, that’s a whole lot of zeroes for an app with limited assets.

Uber has also partnered with TransLoc to integrate Uber into commutes with TransLoc Rider. We are inching towards Mobility as a Service. It will be interesting to see how transit and ride sharing companies evolve their relationships.

Oh, and just in case you missed it, a few weeks ago, Uber hit its one-billionth ride.

While most ridesharing offerings have been focused on urban areas, that may be changing. Mercedes-Benz and Via team up to launch a suburban ridesharing service.

And for people with reduced mobility, the Simon Mobile Application, a new application for persons is an application for navigation, orientation and parking designed for persons with reduced mobility. In Madrid, Parma, Lisbon and Reading, it provides access to important accessibility information such as the location of disabled parking spots or the location of elevators and ramps to access subway stations. With Simon Mobile, it is possible to compute walking, driving and transit routes and use step-by-step navigation during a trip. Mobility should be accessible to all, regardless of physical limitations.

The Consumer

A poll undertaken in Canada shows that Canadians are split with the issue of driverless vehicles.

The information that is shared by smart cars about the drivers has caught the attention of Canada’s privacy watchdog. This will increasingly be an issue going forward. Governments should start determining who owns the data as well as who can use the data and how.

A poll undertaken in Canada shows that Canadians are split with the issue of driverless vehicles. You will find here some of the statistics.

infographics

At the end of last year, a survey of UK motorists stated that 39% of them would consider using a driverless vehicle.

Car sharing

And in case you missed it, WaiveCar launched in Santa Monica and Venice, California…

GM has launched Maven, its car sharing service. Of course, the writing on the wall: as soon as fully autonomous vehicle technology is commercially available, Maven will go driverless.

Ford’s Credit Link announced its program that encourages sharing of vehicles among three to six people interested in collectively signing a 24-month lease of a Ford vehicle.

And in case you missed it, WaiveCar launched in Santa Monica and Venice, Calif., with a fleet of 20 compact, four-door electric cars. All you need to borrow one is a credit card, a driver’s license, and a smartphone. Rentals are made via smartphone app, and there’s no need to pick up keys—the company unlocks vehicles remotely when a user books the car, and the keys are inside.  Even more innovative, however, is WaiveCar’s business model, in which vehicles are loaned out at no charge to drivers for the first two hours. Even insurance is included for free. WaiveCar makes money because its cars are covered in advertising. The sponsor at launch is the Google-backed Oscar Health Insurance Corp.  Could this be a sign of where driverless vehicles will be going? Free rides in exchange for advertising exposure, sharing of information?  Already, studies undertaken in the US are indicating that Americans are willing to share personal information in exchange for something they consider of value. Could free rides be one these values?